Anatolius of Laodicea

Last updated

Anatolius of Laodicea
Bishop and Confessor
BornEarly 3rd century
Alexandria, Ptolemaic Egypt
DiedJuly 3, 283
Laodicea, Roman Syria (now Latakia, Syria)
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church; Eastern Orthodox Church;
Feast July 3

Anatolius of Laodicea (early 3rd century – July 3, 283 [1] ), also known as Anatolios of Alexandria, [2] became Bishop of Laodicea on the Mediterranean coast of Roman Syria in AD 268. He was not only one of the foremost scholars of his day in the physical sciences as well as in Aristotelean philosophy but also a great computist.

Contents

Anatolius is considered a saint by both the Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church. His feast day, like the one of his namesake Saint Anatolius of Constantinople, is celebrated on July 3. [3]

Life

Anatolius was born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt, during the early 3rd century. Prior to becoming one of the great lights of the Church, Anatolius enjoyed considerable prestige at Alexandria. According to Eusebius of Caesarea, he was credited with a rich knowledge of arithmetic, geometry, physics, rhetoric, dialectic, and astronomy. [4] Also according to Eusebius, Anatolius was deemed worthy to maintain the school of the Aristotelian succession in Alexandria. [5] The pagan philosopher Iamblichus studied among his disciples for a short time. [6]

There are fragments of ten books on arithmetic written by him. There is also a treatise on time of the Paschal celebration. [7] His famous 19-year Paschal cycle has survived in seven different complete medieval manuscripts of the Latin text De ratione paschali. [8]

A story is told by Eusebius of the way in which Anatolius broke up a rebellion in a part of Alexandria known then as Bruchium. It was held by the forces of Zenobia, and being strictly beleaguered by the Romans was in a state of starvation. Anatolius, who was living in Bruchium at the time, made arrangements with the besiegers to receive all the women and children, as well as the old and infirm, continuing at the same time to let as many as wished profit by the means of escaping. It broke up the defence and the rebels surrendered. [9]

In going to Laodicea he was seized by the people and made bishop. Whether his friend Eusebius had died, or whether they both occupied the see together, is a matter of much discussion. The question is treated at length in the Bollandists.

Anatolius as the pioneer for the mainstream medieval computus

Around AD 260 Anatolius invented the first Metonic 19-year lunar cycle (which 19-year periodic sequence of dates of the Paschal full moon must not be confused with the Metonic cycle, of which it is an application in the Julian calendar). [10] [11] [12] Therefore, Anatolius can be considered to be the founder of the new Alexandrian computus paschalis which half a century after began with the active construction of the second version of the Metonic 19-year lunar cycle, which itself or a close variant of which ultimately would prevail throughout Christendom for a long time (until the year 1582, when the Julian calendar was replaced with the Gregorian calendar). [13] The seventeen-centuries-old enigma of his famous 19-year Paschal cycle (not to be confused with the Paschal cycle of the Eastern Orthodox Church) was recently completely resolved by the Irish scholars Daniel Mc Carthy and Aidan Breen. [14]

The dates of the ultimately resulting classical Alexandrian 19-year lunar cycle have recently appeared to be advanced by about two days over the dates of Anatolius’ 19-year lunar cycle. [15] The former began somewhere in the 4th century, as evidenced by Ethiopic copies of Alexandrian tables covering three lunar cycles from 310/11 to 367/68. [16] [lower-alpha 1] The dates are secured by the inclusion of an indiction column, and the included Easter dates are consistent with the later dates of Dionysius Exiguus and Bede. The classical Alexandrian 19-year lunar cycle itself or a close variant of it was added to the festal letters of Athanasius during the late 4th century; [17] [18] [19] [20] it was used by Annianus in his 532-year tables during the early 5th century, [21] was fully enumerated in the subsequent 532-year Ethiopic tables, [22] and was adopted by bishop Cyril of Alexandria (without any mention of a 532-year table). [23]

However, the Metonic 19-year lunar cycle which was added to Athanasius’ Festal Letters was a one which had 6 April instead of 5 April. [24] Furthermore, Otto Neugebauer (1899-1990), according to himself, was in the dark about the date of compilation of the whole 7980-year framework (based on the classical Alexandrian 19-year lunar cycle) created by Alexandrian computists. [25] Considering that only around AD 400 Annianus obtained his classical Alexandrian version of the Metonic 19-year lunar cycle by adapting Theophilus’ 19-year lunar cycle by moving its saltus 1 year forward by replacing its date 6 April by 5 April, [26] we may conclude that the compilation in question dates from the fifth century. Of course, this does not exclude that the (in principle tentative) version constructed in the first quarter of the fourth century could be, by chance, equal to Annianus’ ultimately definitive one. In any case, this possible equality cannot be assured in the way Neugebauer tried to prove it, because the particular Metonic 19-year lunar cycle of the not-dated manuscript concerning AD 311-369 he staged, [27] could have been obtained afterwards by simply extrapolating from the fifth century 7980-year framework. Moreover, Neugebauer not only ignored the difference between the classical Alexandrian and the Festal Index 19-year lunar cycle, but also kept us guessing about, at least refrained from showing, the (crucial) position of the saltus in the particular Metonic 19-year lunar cycle in question. [28]

Anatolius describes the vernal equinox as a section of the first zodiacal sign from March 22 to 25. Although he defines March 22 as the Sun's entry into the first sign, he never defines it as his equinox, but as Ptolemy's equinox. [lower-alpha 2] This does not exclude that in reality he used Ptolemy's equinox as the theoretical lower limit date for all of his dates of Paschal full moon. As a matter of fact, the corresponding de facto lower limit date (necessarily being either 22 or 23 March) is not 22 but 23 March, which easily can be derived from Anatolius’ Paschal table. [30] In contrast, he used not only Ptolemy's but also the Roman equinox, March 25, in his Paschal table. [31]

Notes

  1. Neugebauer transcribed seven of 58 years with 19 parameters each, including the lunar cycle, e (epact). e = 25 6 17 28 9 20 1 for Diocletian years 44–50. These seven of the available 59 were transcribed because they are also the first seven in the festal letters of Athanasius, which also include the same [Alexandrian–Julian] epacts (they are years 6–12 of the Alexandrian lunar cycle).
  2. Ptolemy measured his equinox to be on March 22 during AD 140 although modern calculations reveal it occurred on March 21 at 14:16 UT. In AD 260, it occurred on March 20 at 15:52 UT. Modern calculations are according to IMCCE at the Paris Observatory. [29]

Related Research Articles

Cyril of Alexandria Patriarch of Alexandria

Cyril of Alexandria was the Patriarch of Alexandria from 412 to 444. He was enthroned when the city was at the height of its influence and power within the Roman Empire. Cyril wrote extensively and was a leading protagonist in the Christological controversies of the late-4th and 5th centuries. He was a central figure in the Council of Ephesus in 431, which led to the deposition of Nestorius as Patriarch of Constantinople. Cyril is counted among the Church Fathers and also as a Doctor of the Church, and his reputation within the Christian world has resulted in his titles Pillar of Faith and Seal of all the Fathers. The Roman Emperor Theodosius II, however, condemned him for behaving like a "proud pharaoh", and the Nestorian bishops at their synod at the Council of Ephesus declared him a heretic, labelling him as a "monster, born and educated for the destruction of the church."

Easter Major Christian festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus

Easter, also called Pascha or Resurrection Sunday, is a Christian festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.

Metonic cycle

The Metonic cycle or enneadecaeteris is a period of approximately 19 years after which the phases of the moon recur on the same day of the year. The recurrence is not perfect, and by precise observation the Metonic cycle is defined as 235 synodic lunar months, a period which is just 1 hour, 27 minutes and 33 seconds longer than 19 tropical years. Learning from the Babylonian and Hebrew lunisolar calendars in which the years 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 19 are the long (13-month) years, Meton of Athens judged the cycle to be a whole number of days, 6,940. Using these integer numbers facilitates the construction of a luni-solar calendar.

Coptic calendar Egyptian liturgical calendar

The Coptic calendar, also called the Alexandrian calendar, is a liturgical calendar used by the Coptic Orthodox Church and also used by the farming populace in Egypt. This calendar is based on the ancient Egyptian calendar. To avoid the calendar creep of the latter, a reform of the ancient Egyptian calendar was introduced at the time of Ptolemy III which consisted of the intercalation of a sixth epagomenal day every fourth year. However, this reform was opposed by the Egyptian priests, and the reform was not adopted until 25 BC, when the Roman Emperor Augustus imposed the Decree upon Egypt as its official calendar. To distinguish it from the Ancient Egyptian calendar, which remained in use by some astronomers until medieval times, this reformed calendar is known as the Coptic or Alexandrian calendar. Its years and months coincide with those of the Ethiopian calendar but have different numbers and names.

Dionysius Exiguus Byzantine saint

Dionysius Exiguus was a 6th-century monk born in Scythia Minor. He was a member of a community of Scythian monks concentrated in Tomis, the major city of Scythia Minor. Dionysius is best known as the inventor of Anno Domini (AD) dating, which is used to number the years of both the Gregorian calendar and the (Christianised) Julian calendar. Almost all churches adopted his computus for the dates of Easter.

The computus is a calculation that determines the calendar date of Easter. Easter is traditionally celebrated on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon, which is the first full moon on or after 21 March. Determining this date in advance requires a correlation between the lunar months and the solar year, while also accounting for the month, date, and weekday of the calendar. The Hebrew calendar given over by Moses in Exodus 12, is necessarily lunisolar. It is intercalated with a leap month of Adar added once every three years, before the lunar new year on 1 Nisan. From the time of the Babylonian captivity, the Jewish community has faced the problem of communicating with a diaspora, and adopted the Metonic cycle to predict future intercalations.

The epact, used to be described by medieval computists as the age of a phase of the Moon in days on 22 March; in the newer Gregorian calendar, however, the epact is reckoned as the age of the ecclesiastical moon on 1 January. Its principal use is in determining the date of Easter by computistical methods. It varies from year to year, because of the difference between the solar year of 365–366 days and the lunar year of 354–355 days.

Theophilus was the 23rd Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark. He became pope at a time of conflict between the newly dominant Christians and the pagan establishment in Alexandria, each of which was supported by a segment of the Alexandrian populace.

Annianus of Alexandria was a monk who flourished in Alexandria during the bishopric of Theophilus of Alexandria around the beginning of the 5th century. He criticized the world history of his contemporary monk Panodorus of Alexandria for relying too much on secular sources rather than biblical sources for his dates.

The Ethiopian calendar is the principal calendar used in Ethiopia and also serves as the liturgical year for Christians in Ethiopia and Eritrea belonging to the Orthodox Tewahedo Churches, Eastern Catholic Churches, and Eastern Protestant Christian P'ent'ay Churches. The Ethiopian calendar is a solar calendar that has more in common with the Coptic calendar of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and Coptic Catholic Church, but like the Julian calendar, it adds a leap day every four years without exception, and begins the year on August 29 or August 30 in the Julian calendar. A gap of seven to eight years between the Ethiopian and Gregorian calendars results from an alternative calculation in determining the date of the Annunciation.

The Era of the Martyrs, also known as the Diocletian era, is a method of numbering years used by the Church of Alexandria beginning in the 4th century AD and by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria from the 5th century to the present. Western Christians were aware of it but did not use it. It was named for the Roman Emperor Diocletian who instigated the last major persecution against Christians in the Empire. Diocletian began his reign on 20 November 284, during the Alexandrian year that began on 1 Thoth, the Egyptian New Year, or 29 August 284, so that date was used as the epoch: year one of the Diocletian era began on that date. This era was used to number the year in Easter tables produced by the Church of Alexandria.

Planetary hours

The planetary hours are an ancient system in which one of the seven classical planets is given rulership over each day and various parts of the day. Developed in Hellenistic astrology, it has possible roots in older Babylonian astrology, and it is the origin of the names of the days of the week as used in English and numerous other languages.

Anno Mundi Calendar era

Anno Mundi, abbreviated as AM, or Year After Creation, is a calendar era based on the biblical accounts of the creation of the world and subsequent history. Two such calendar eras have seen notable use historically:

The controversy over the correct date for Easter began in Early Christianity as early as the 2nd century AD. Discussion and disagreement over the best method of computing the date of Easter Sunday has been ongoing and unresolved for centuries. Different Christian denominations continue to celebrate Easter on different dates, with Eastern and Western Christian churches being a notable example.

In the year 616 an anonymous scholar extended Dionysius Exiguus' Easter table to an Easter table covering the years 532 up to and including 721. Dionysius' table was published in 525 and only a century later accepted by the church of Rome, which from the third century up till then had given preference to go on using her own, relatively inadequate, Easter tables. From about the middle of the seventh century all controversy between Alexandria and Rome as to the correct date of Easter ceased, as both churches were now using identical tables.

An ecclesiastical full moon is formally the 14th day of the ecclesiastical lunar month in an ecclesiastical lunar calendar. The ecclesiastical lunar calendar spans the year with lunar months of 30 and 29 days which are intended to approximate the observed phases of the Moon. Since a true synodic month has a length that can vary from about 29.27 to 29.83 days, the moment of astronomical opposition tends to be roughly 14.75 days after the previous conjunction of the Sun and Moon. The ecclesiastical full moons of the Gregorian lunar calendar tend to agree with the dates of astronomical opposition, referred to a day beginning at midnight at 0 degrees longitude, to within a day or so. However, the astronomical opposition happens at a single moment for the entire Earth: The hour and day at which the opposition is measured as having taken place will vary with longitude. In the ecclesiastical calendar, the 14th day of the lunar month, reckoned in local time, is considered the day of the full moon at each longitude.

Augustalis was the first bishop of Toulon, according to some authorities. He was appointed in 441. He attended the Council of Orange that year, and the Council of Vaison the following. He is associated with the civitas of Arles by the Martyrologium Hieronymianum, which honors him on September 7. He is also named by the Martyrologium romanum on that day, with his location noted as in Gallia. An Augustalis, most likely this man, appears among a group of bishops addressed by Pope Leo I in letters dated 22 August 449 and 5 May 450, the latter of which addresses issues of jurisdiction between Arles and Vienne.

Aristobulus of Alexandria also called Aristobulus the Peripatetic and once believed to be Aristobulus of Paneas, was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher of the Peripatetic school, though he also used Platonic and Pythagorean concepts. Like his successor, Philo, he attempted to fuse ideas in the Hebrew Scriptures with those in Greek thought.

A concurrent was the weekday of 24 March in the Julian calendar counted from 1 to 7, regarding 1 as Sunday. It was used to calculate the Julian Easter during the Middle Ages. It was derived from the weekday of the first day of the Alexandrian calendar during the 4th century, 1 Thoth(29–30 August), counting Wednesday as 1. Therefore the following 5 Thoth was a Sunday and the following 28 Phamenoth(24 March Julian) [= 208 Thoth≡ 5 Thoth mod 7] was also a Sunday. It was first mentioned by Dionysius Exiguus in 525 in his Latin version of the original Alexandrian Church's Greek computus. The insertion of the sixth epagomenal day (29 August Julian) immediately before 1 Thoth was compensated for by the bissextile day (24 February Julian) inserted six months later into the Julian calendar.

Computus clock

A computus clock is a clock equipped with a mechanism that automatically calculates and displays, or helps determine, the date of Easter. A computus watch carries out the same function.

References

  1. "Lives of the Saints," Omer Englebert New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1994, p. 256
  2. Irby-Massie, Georgia L.; Keyser, Paul T. (2013). Greek Science of the Hellenistic Era: A Sourcebook (in Dutch). Routledge. ISBN   978-1-134-55639-7.
  3. Acta Sanctorum I (5th century) July
  4. Mc Carthy & Breen (2003) 18
  5. Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica 7.32.6.
  6. Eunapius, Lives of the Philosophers and Sophists
  7. Michaud & Michaud (1811–1855) 94
  8. Mc Carthy & Breen (2003) 25–43
  9. Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica 7.32.6–13
  10. Declercq (2000) 65–66
  11. Nothaft, C. Philipp E. (2011). Dating the Passion: The Life of Jesus and the Emergence of Scientific Chronology (200–1600). BRILL. p. 69. ISBN   978-90-04-21707-2.
  12. McCarthy, Daniel (1995). "The Lunar and Paschal Tables of De ratione paschali Attributed to Anatolius of Laodicea". Archive for History of Exact Sciences. 49 (4): 285–320. doi:10.1007/BF00374701. ISSN   0003-9519. JSTOR   41134008. S2CID   120081352.
  13. Declercq (2000) 65–66
  14. Mc Carthy & Breen (2003) 15–143
  15. Zuidhoek (2017) 87–93
  16. Neugebauer (2016) 26–27, 37, 92–94.
  17. Schaff (1892) 885-892
  18. Neugebauer (2016) 92–95
  19. "Index" (1854) xv–xxvii
  20. Jones (1943) 22–26
  21. Neugebauer (2016) 113
  22. Neugebauer (2016) 50–57
  23. Mosshammer (2008) 202–203
  24. Mosshammer (2008) 202
  25. Neugebauer (1979) 98
  26. Mosshammer (2008) 202-203
  27. Neugebauer (1979) 99
  28. Neugebauer (1979) 98-100
  29. Dates of Seaons[ sic?] for any Year, IMCCE (Paris Observatory)
  30. Mc Carthy & Breen (2003) 68
  31. Mc Carthy and Breen (2003) 101

Sources

Further reading